WorldRemit founder Ismail Ahmed has committed $500 million of his own wealth and investments to Somaliland-focused development programmes over the next 10 years.
Ismail’s foundation is based in London and Hargeisa, Somaliland’s capital and will initially focus on education, healthcare and infrastructure projects across Somaliland.
The Sahamiye Foundation seeks to help over 1 million adults and young people acquire literacy skills in the Somali language and double Somaliland’s literacy rate from 45% to 90% by 2023. The Foundation will also support over 100,000 people to develop technical and vocational skills for employment and entrepreneurship; invest in start-up accelerators, and increase levels of health and financial literacy across the country’s population.
To support Somaliland’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, to date, Ismail Ahmed and Sahamiye Foundation have donated $1 million worth of PPE and COVID-19 laboratory testing equipment and kit to strengthen the country’s capacity and support healthcare workers across the country.
Situated on the Horn of Africa, Somaliland is home to around 4.5 million people. In the absence of formal recognition, Somaliland has adopted an innovative approach to building its own institutions that are optimised for the specific challenges that the country faces. However, in choosing to move away from traditional solutions offered by the aid sector, Somaliland has received very little development assistance. Innovative development finance solutions are required to overcome the barriers that Somaliland faces, going beyond the traditional models of donor funding and towards a more entrepreneurial, scale-up approach that focuses on building capacity, capabilities and skills that will generate solutions to the country’s challenges from within.
Drawing on WorldRemit’s Founder experience
Drawing on Ismail Ahmed’s experience and background in building and scaling a globally successful technology company, Sahamiye Foundation will adopt a start-up philosophy and mindset to invest in programmes that will help to overcome barriers to Somaliland’s growth and development and to build ‘homegrown’ products and platforms.